A French Girl’s Adventures in Pays de Galles

The Newtown Twinning Association is thriving. Every year, its programme of activities in partnership with Les Herbiers in the Vendée region grows. Increasingly, the ties between our towns includes younger members of the respective communities; at a time when too many people waste time highlighting differences between people, programmes such as the Erasmus student exchange provide ways to draw communities closer together.

As part of the programme, we have been delighted to welcome Maëva to The High Street Delicatessen for 2 weeks of work experience. She has been a fantastic addition to our small team, learning quickly, working hard, putting up with Mr Deli’s awful French and selling incredible amounts of fudge to her friends!

We asked Maëva if she would like to write some words about her experience, to share a little of what she discovered during her stay. We never expected to read such a touching and thoughtful piece.


Maeva’s Story – in her own words

” … This probationary period with The High Street Delicatessen is an unforgettable experiment.

The first day I enormously stressed for fear I do not like myself in the company, or that the people who work there would not be very nice. By luck was mistaken; when I arrived, I could become acquainted with Barrie and later of his wife, JoJo. They are two extraordinary people and always smiling, Barrie has taken time to explain (to) me how to prepare each coffee with drawings and by showing me when the people asked

They have two large tables inside the interior of the shop and a small terrace behind to be seated and taste the coffee with a small cake if the people wishes it.

Each day I learned how to make coffee, to approach the customers, to speak with them. observed Barrie much when he made toast or in his way of wrapping the cakes and pastries that JoJo prepared every day … without forgetting the cheeses which are in a small chiller.

But, attention, they do not make only coffees!!!

This small shop offers also local products like bread (delivered three times per week) and the tea, chocolates, caramel (fudge – Maëva is our Vendeuse de l’Année, ‘Saleswoman of the Year’ based on fudge sales alone!), jams and sauces (chutneys).

With JoJo we made also signs (to put in front of the products) and a special display for Fête des MèreThey pay great attention to the dates of endoflife of the products. When it is the case which a product expire they make a small reduction on the initial price.

If one proposed to me to return here to work or remake an internship, I would say yes without hesitating.

I thank you Barrie and Jojo to have accommodated myself in your company and to have helped me discover your trade ...”



We will miss Maëva when she heads home at the end of the week